School seeing success after opening sensory room for students with special needs

Amanda Hopkins is a mother of two children who are both on the autism spectrum. It the past school could be difficult for them, but things changed after they transferred to Rosedale Elementary.

Posted: Apr 4, 2019 6:37 PM

ROSEDALE, Ind. (WTHI)- Amanda Hopkins is a mother of two children who are both on the autism spectrum. It the past school could be difficult for them, but things changed after they transferred to Rosedale Elementary.

"Getting them ready for school was somewhat of a nightmare,” said Hopkins describing what it was like at their first school. “Since coming here my boys are so excited. Every morning they want to get to school, they want to see their friends, they want to see their teacher."

Hopkins says a big part of that is the school's new sensory room. It's a safe space for kids to go unwind during the day.

School Principal Diana Spence says the room was possible thanks to a grant from Elli Lilly. The goal is to help students become more relaxed and ready for class.

"Some of my parents will tell you that sensory overload is a huge handicap for a lot of our kids. Not only the special education population but for some of our kids who just lack just very basic skills," said Spence.

The room is filled with multiple engaging activities. It's only a fifteen-minute break from class, but the break can make a world of difference.

"We are at a point where we can intervene early. We can offer them an opportunity to learn to express themselves, to control themselves. We're giving that child such a better life and it’s a simple thing to do," said Spence.

Parents like Hopkins feel the school is helping children strive for success.

"I think the sensory room has been a huge part of that. Just the staff in Rosedale in general."

Due to the room's success so far, there are now talks about getting a sensory room for Montezuma Elementary school as well.

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